I do not think it would be too extreme to say that most human behavior is based on fear. Much of this fear is based in the dance we engage in daily with death. Ignoring it, thinking about it, worrying that it will happen to us before we are ready, or that it will take our loved ones. Trying to forget the fact that it will happen, without question or quarter, drives our perceptions and motivations much more than we acknowledge on a regular basis.
Religion, too, arises from this fear. Humanity has always wanted some assurance that, when the inevitable does happen, their being will somehow continue, and that the forces they encounter beyond the veil which can never be withdrawn will be friendly to them. The irony is that all this fear based wishing quite often leads to the opposite experience. “All we are is the result of what we have thought,” and if we spend our lives terrified, we are likely to die that way.
Then there are the multitudinous distractions. The television programs that are so important to keep up on. The toys that are so important to have. And the relationships that are supposed to fulfill us, the partners that will never change or disappoint us. None of these things, of course, ever nourishes us completely. Relationships with others come the closest, but there is still that gnawing, clinging feeling. It is as if we are standing in a rushing river, trying to find a bubble in the roaring foam to comfort us and keep us company forever, before we are washed away to sea.
We have what we need, but we ignore it. The Stone That Was Rejected arises from the bedrock experience of mortality, and so we push it aside as equally uncomfortable. The Obligation that comes with it is too great. From the awareness that we are all going to die, no matter how many houses we own or beautiful people we fuck, there can emerge the understanding that there is no difference between any of us, and each is already perfect. Just not perfected. The latter requires work, and letting go.
The Stone has also been referred to as Innate Wisdom. We know full well the truth, and that we are playing games in order to avoid it. The sophistication with which these diversions seduce us from our basic nature is stunning. It is like a mirror over which we place a thousand costume jewels, simply to avoid seeing our reflection.
Modern life provides us with so much that we forget that all these wonderful things are the result of directed will toward solving a specific problem. It often feels as if a machine has done all this, that all our efforts are part of a mechanism rather than the cooperation of thousands of people to create the world we live in. This is the amazing thing: that we cooperate in maintaining a world that in many ways does not serve us, but do not see it as cooperation. It’s “just my job” or “the way things are.” It’s the way things are because we keep doing things that way.
Our Wills are so buried and denied because we are afraid of where they will lead us. And we are afraid of losing something we consider important. Our lives, loved ones. Our identity. It is really this fragile shell of personality that we are addicted to. Its needs are so important and we will devise a thousand reasons to act in ways we know are unhelpful, simply to look after those needs.
Again, all that energy is being put toward guarding “a burning house.” It is easy to forget that we are the fire. As long as we deny our Wills, we have nothing important, and once we have embraced our Wills, nothing important can be taken from us.
This is the Adamantine Jewel at the core of our being. Nothing can tarnish, destroy, or steal it form us. Once it is uncovered, there is nothing we cannot do or have.
Or so says the voice, talking over my shoulder, while I type words this Shell only half believes…